John F. Kennedy photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Adenauer.

November 22, 1961

THE PRESIDENT and the Chancellor have had an extended exchange of views during the past three days on a number of problems of vital concern to their Governments. These exchanges took place m a frank and cordial atmosphere and established that there is substantial unanimity of view both on the substance of the problems and how to deal with them.

The visit of the Chancellor afforded an opportunity to the Foreign Ministers and the Defense Ministers of the two countries to participate in the discussion and exchange views among themselves.

Berlin, over which the Soviet Union has created an international crisis, was the subject of earnest consultation. The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed their clear determination to insure the continuance of a free and vigorous life for the population of Berlin. They are in accord on the basic elements which will permit a peaceful resolution of this crisis through negotiation if there is reasonableness on the part of the Soviet Union. They agreed on the measures which should be taken in pursuing this objective in a manner consistent with the legitimate interests of all parties concerned. At the same time they also agreed on the necessity for maintaining and increasing the ability of the NATO Alliance to cope with any military developments. These discussions will be continued through the already announced meetings between Chancellor Adenauer, Prime Minister Macmillan and President de Gaulle and concluded in the Foreign Ministers meeting and the NATO Ministerial Meeting scheduled in mid-December in Paris.

The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed the ultimate goal of their Governments of achieving by peaceful means the reunification of Germany on the basis of self-determination. They were also in agreement that this objective could be realized without prejudice to the legitimate interests of the Soviet Union and Germany's neighbors.

The President and the Chancellor reviewed the state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They welcomed the measures now in progress to strengthen the Alliance, but recognized the need for a sustained effort to further improve the ability of the Alliance to resist aggression.

The President and the Chancellor noted Soviet charges accusing the NATO Alliance of aggressive intent, and singling out the Federal Republic of Germany and its democratically elected government as the principal object of its false and unwarranted attack. In this regard, the President and the Chancellor reaffirmed that:

(1) The North Atlantic alliance is an alliance for defense against aggression which abides fully by the requirements of the Charter of the United Nations. The peaceful characteristics of its members and their freedom from coercion make it manifestly impossible for NATO to commit aggression against anyone.

(2) The Federal Republic of Germany has demonstrated that it looks to its legitimate security interests entirely within the North Atlantic Alliance, and to this end has integrated its entire effective defense establishment into the multinational NATO framework. The Chancellor, in emphasizing the defensive aspects of West German armed forces, noted that the Federal Republic is the only nation of its size all of whose forces are under international command.

While agreeing on the need to take all measures essential to strengthen the defensive posture of NATO, the President and the Chancellor recognized the necessity of not permitting Soviet pressure over Berlin to deflect them from urgently required constructive tasks vital to the welfare of their peoples and those of other nations.

The President reaffirmed the strong support of the United States for the movement toward European unity through the European Economic Community, the European Coal and Steel Community, and EURATOM. The President and the Chancellor agreed on the important role that the development of the European communities can play in further strengthening and complementing the entire Atlantic community. They agreed particularly on the importance and significance of proposals now being considered for a European Political Union pursuant to the Bonn Declaration of July 1961.

They welcomed the recent decision by the OECD Council of Ministers to increase the combined gross national product of the OECD member countries by 50 percent in 1970 and pledged themselves to work ward this goal.

The President and the Chancellor also discussed the urgent need to increase the flow of development assistance to the less-developed countries. They noted that the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD provides an excellent means of stimulating a greater effort in this field. They considered that in many cases the application of combined resources from several capital exporting countries to specific development assistance problems would be a valuable method of assisting the less-developed countries.

It is the view of the President and the Chancellor that the fruitful exchange of views which they have had will facilitate the close cooperation between the United States and the Federal Republic and result in further strengthening the ties of friendship and mutual understanding which have characterized their relations in the post-war period.

John F. Kennedy, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Adenauer. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives